Monday, August 27, 2007

Alex and his long board

Alex might as well be a notorious "dumpster diver". He regularly drags home all sorts of things other people have discarded by the side of the road. Whenever a friend knows of "good junk", Alex's interest is peaked. Recently, Alex got two odd water skis. He was determined to alter them into long boards. His mission was accomplished over a week ago. He's been using the result as "transportation" to his job at Subway. The University of South Carolina police have even "okayed" it on campus....because there is absolutely no way in which Alex can perform any of the "tricks" that other skateboarders do that can damage property. Alex plans to convert the other "ski" later this paycheck for new wheels and hardware!

By the way, the "tree" in the background is Steve's "pet weed" over seven feet tall. I can't even kill it by backing my van into it anymore!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Jeff's piece

My friend Jeff Donovan has a studio around the corner from mine. We are often the only ones working in the evenings and on weekends. Jeff has been an artist all his life, when to the Ringling School in Florida, and is known for his unique, figurative paintings and pastels. About a year or so ago, Jeff took up ceramics. He even went to Penland and studied under an international teacher. His work is absolutely amazing. What's looks just like his 2D work...but 3D. Watching Jeff create work is like witnessing a complex construction. The pieces aren't "formed"; they're BUILT, section at a time and with great attention to every detail. Tonight Jeff asked me to take a photo for him so that he can share it with his family. Like my family, they live far away and there's no good way to "talk" about a visual expression. Jeff also doesn't own a computer. His wonderful employer, Ginny, let's him check his email at work. So, I'm posting the picture here on my "family blog"...for Jeff's family...but I know my family will enjoy it too!

By the way, if you click on the photo, it will enlarge for close inspection of details.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Final Screen Printing Lesson

Last night was the final class with Nick and Sara at Half and Half Designs. We prepared more than enough homework in order to print two-color images and learn how to properly "register" our designs (make the two colors line up correctly!) In fact, we created a four color image inspired by "Guitar Hero", the currently popular video game that has Mathias and Alex vying for top score.

Above is the design...well, just three of the colors. The red triangle represent guitar picks. The blue guitars have silver centers...silver printed before the blue.

I also used one of my digital images of African masks in order to create a two-color print. I even brought several pieces of decorative paper on which to print. The results were spectacular...except that I accidentally chopped off the tip of my thumb on the very, very sharp paper cutter at Half and Half Designs. (Totally my own stupidity!) Therefore, much of the printing was done by Mathias and Alex....and all of the cleaning up was done by them since my thumb was wrapped in a scrap of towel and bleeding all over the floor.

Ignoring the injury, we printed on. It was really too much fun to stop. The print above includes the musical clef...all four colors. Most of this edition is "lined up" better...but Alex and Mathias love to experiment.

In fact, the print above has the silver guitar centers and the red guitar picks under the two-color mask. It looks great. Therefore, we all signed it. We signed everything after a late dinner of steak...Mathias' last home-cooked dinner here. This morning he and Steve left for Washington, DC to see a soccer game and for Mathias to catch his flight back to England.

Sunday at the Licatas and Stronghold Athletic Club

This past Sunday Steve, Mathias, and I went to the Licata's weekend getaway house on Lake Wateree. (Alex had to work.) We got to go out on their boat to admire all the undeveloped lake front shoreline; seeing egrets, herons, turtles, and an otter; and have a lovely dinner of grilled teryaki chicken. It's nice to have such generous, fun friends.

While Mathias has been here, he's been going to Stronghold Athletic Club to work out and stretch...but also to do a little rock climbing. Both boys wanted to do this together but couldn't find the time between the club's hours, other commitments, and Alex's job.

Yet, Mathias got to climb and once I got to watch!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

At the Beach

Steve, Mathias, Alex, and I set off early this morning. We delivered my artwork to Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina. Curator Roberta Olmstead will hang my solo show which hangs until late September.

We drove on to Charleston...actually, to Terrace Oaks Antique Mall where we sell framed antiquarian prints. Sales have been rather good recently. Thus, our walls were left looking more like a "hodge podge". We brought other pictures, rearranged, and quickly were able to go to the beach. The day was beautiful. Somewhere, Alex and Mathias found a small beach ball. (I sure hope they didn't take it from the little kid with whom I saw Alex...image captured above!)

Mathias threw the ball high and long.

Alex threw the ball quick the far.

Occasionally, one of them actually caught the ball!

Steve and I waded in the water, looked for shells, watched the boys, and enjoyed the sun. The waves were excellent.

When I asked the boys to "pose" they did...but...

...they wanted to "jump" for the photos...on the count of one, two, three!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Screen printing: The Second Class

Having done our "homework", Mathias, Alex, and I were quite prepared for our second lesson in screen printing. Alex traced images from a child's coloring book. I used one of my digital photos as a of the Pre-Raphaelite inspired stained glass windows in the Birmingham Art Museum. Only Mathias drew a design illustrated word...IRAQ.

We exposed our images onto the emulsion coated screens using a vacuum powered light table...and then we started printing.

Nick has the patience of a seasoned instructor and really helped us get decent results on our first attempts.

Alex used peacock blue ink. The print looks great!

We also got to clean the screens using their power sprayer, some heavy-duty chemicals, and "grease lightening". Then, we discussed our new assignment...two color prints! We can hardly wait until next week.

Above is my image printed on some decorative paper which I brought along.

This one is Mathias' print.

The final image was an experiment. Of course, Alex and Mathias wanted to know how their designs looked on top of one another!